Thesis; ACE's Knowledge and Awareness is a POWERFUL Therapy that delivers proven effective Therapeutic Healing in and of Itself.
Simply knowing of ACE's and of one's own score is healing above any therapeutic intervention currently in use, to the best of my knowledge - odd as this might sound to those whose livings are made providing such therapies - not that these are not also beneficial - but the numbers speak for themselves I think.
Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris has published some crude data on those she has evaluated in her practice over the years and the beneficial outcomes she reports are unexpectedly large - even with minimal to no interventions in most cases.
What was conveyed in many cases was only a basic conceptual framework of what ACE's is, and where oneself or one's child is on the scale. That's it - and from this alone benefits were reported that make other interventions pale in comparison.
Ergo, in my opinion; It's about self-empowerment and eliminating or reducing shame by speaking to someone of such matters, sometimes for the first time.
The data provided by Dr. Burke-Harris seems to indicate none of the five competencies have nearly the same measurable outcome on high ACE scoring persons and families as does simply;
(1) knowing of ACE's,
(2) knowing of one's own ACE score and/or that of one's child and/or significant other, and
(3) having gone through the social process involved in having either shared this information or even more minimally, having at least been asked by someone that showed an interest in one's taking the questionnaire and one subsequently having complied - as occurred in the clinical practice of Dr. Burke-Harris.
All three are important I suspect and together comprise what I believe to be the most important Core Healing Competency of SEL, (social-emotional learning), that being to have ACE's Awareness and knowledge.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines five core SEL competencies, including (1)self-awareness, (2)social awareness, (3)self-management, (4)relationship skills, and (5)responsible decision making.
The CASEL Five SEL competencies ARE NOT (I don't believe) sufficient to achieve that which they were created to accomplish and which CASEL itself was created to accomplish.
Knowledge & Awareness of ACE's itself AS the Most Powerful Therapeutic Healing Agent; There should be 6 core competencies, not five, (in my opinion) and the (proposed) 6th would be the one that is by far the most important.
Culture is Biology.
We must always look to ourselves when addressing important issues to ensure that we are not speaking from a place of trauma and illness that affects one's very mind in how one thinks and processes information. Only by having ACE Awareness and knowing to look, to check one's own thinking, can one overcome this potential limitation. This is what a proposed 6th core competency enables and a powerful argument for why it should, I believe, be officially added to CASEL's five core competencies. What do you think?
It is from atop the shoulders of those that created the CASEL organization, that a proposed key 6th competency can now be conveyed. WE ARE READY, if we dare, thanks to their good works and efforts. This means educating children, especially. If this sounds impossible or unrealistic to you, it is not, it is already happening - I encourage the reader to investigate the wonderful work of Mrs. Goldie Hawn's, the Hawn Foundation, in making it her and their mission to educate children about their own brains and emotions from a very early age by creating the education enterprise, MIND UP. If hearing a second-grader say to be patient because her friend is upset and their amygdala is over-reacting doesn't inspire one to have hope for the future, I don't know what will. https://mindup.org/
It is hard (oftentimes) to see the "ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM" because we are standing on it - arguably, the number one core piece of knowledge that is central to coalescing one's knowledge is to understand ACE's, to be ACE's-Aware. For this reason, it is proposed that a SIXTH core SEL competency should be ACES-AWARENESS.
This (proposed 6th) ACE's-Awareness SEL core competency is key to being able to heal one's self, meaning to have resilience and this knowledge is also key to enabling the healing to spread - to be able to pass on the benefits of said self-change and self-knowledge.
In other words, to counter the behaviorally transmitted *negative* effects of trauma and ACE's with the behaviorally transmitted positive effect of knowledge. ACE's as a 6th CORE SEL COMPETENCY is (I believe) needed to tap into and be able to behaviorally transmit the seldom discussed or contemplated, but clearly extant, *positive* counter-effect to the negative behaviorally transmitted neurotoxic effects of ACE's.
As with the introduction of Sanitary Hygiene to an incredulous populace in the 1900s, little-believing that millions of "invisible creatures" are living on ones' hands and all around us requiring doctors to wash their hands and disinfect surgical instruments, so too there is significant public resistance in our own day to modern concepts of Mental and Behavioral Hygiene that accompany trauma-informed ACE Awareness, Similarly, one must be educated in ACE's to be able to see and know what it is that oneself and one's society is affected by to be able to hope to overcome it. Knowledge of ACES must (I therefore believe) become a 6th CASEL Core Competency.
Biology is Culture; At one time we though witches and evil spirits caused the deaths that we now know come from micro-organisms through a process we now categorize as a disease. To defeat this "evil" we needed to understand the science behind it. The same is true if we wish to see an END to the statistic of 1 in 3 children sexually assaulted and 1 in 7 abused or neglected. This MUST (it seems reasonable to presume) happen to END the trauma and abuse, as compared to merely seek to reduce and manage it as if it was an inherent part of the "human condition" and thus impossible to ever see go away. Trauma and abuse, like a disease, are NOT an inherent part of the human condition and what humanity is, it is a blight upon it that we can and must exercise our combined wills to see extinguished.
Rising Above Our Biology; We must all strive to see the elephant we all stand upon; ACE's Awareness by everyone, young and old, in order to "rise above" our biology and that of society and culture - to no longer be confined by the black/white thinking that limits one to seeing things, one's self, and others in competitive terms of good and bad which way of seeing is itself the key feature of a traumatized reactive mind.
One is NOT damaged by ACE's, ACE's changes one's brain and perceptions to be better adapted to a damaged World. The proposed 6th core SEL competency enables us to Rise Above this limitation of our Biology - to consciously change the World.
A high ACE score means one is highly prone to having a 'fixed' mindset - and it is hoped that through knowledge of ACE's we can be empowered to see things differently - to have what is called a 'growth' mindset or at least to perceive things more in terms of having a growth mindset. We are at a cultural tipping point. It is time to step into self-awareness and rise above our biology. It is time (I believe) for us all to embrace not just our own individual biologies but to also see that Culture (too) is Biology.
The above commentary was in response to:
Hi, has anybody got any links to peer-reviewed journal articles where an individual's ACE score/questionnaire is used to inform practice? I know it's fairly common practice now in some areas to inquire about ACEs, but I struggle to find any papers describing how that information is then used. Would be good to find some examples where, say, a score of four leads to a more targeted intervention or response, for instance.